For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2021


Marie Cheek
Community Relations Coordinator
Culture & Heritage Museums


Descendants of Brattonsville’s enslaved community gather to share family stories during the annual By the Sweat of Our Brows and to honor the late Kitty Wilson-Evans

McCONNELLS, S.C. – “By the Sweat of Our Brows” is an annual award-winning program where descendants of the African American community at Brattonsville come together to showcase family memorabilia and share family stories. This year’s program also pays tribute to the late Kitty Wilson-Evans, a gifted singer and storyteller known for giving voice to the plantation’s past.

The day begins at Historic Brattonsville’s original Slave House with the traditional ‘Calling of the Names’ – a reading of the 1865 Freedmen List from Harriet Bratton’s plantation. A guided tour of the site’s historic preservation projects and behind-the-scenes look inside the restored Brattonsville Store immediately follows. Descendant Dr. Lisa Bratton speaks about her quest for uncovering family genealogy at 1 p.m.

A video presentation – A Tribute to Kitty Wilson-Evans, will play in Historic Brattonsville’s Orientation Room at noon and 3 p.m. An homage is scheduled in the Oak Grove at 2 p.m.

An array of special presentations include performances by singer and storyteller Carlo L’Chelle Dawson at 12:30 and 2:30 in the Oak Grove.

Throughout the day, descendants of Brattonsville share a few family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. The connection between food and community will be discussed while historical cooking and food preservation techniques are demonstrated. A look at the history and art of quilt-making accompanies ongoing make-and-take activities for children. Descendant Wali Cathcart brings traditional toys and games for participants of all ages.


Bratton descendants, Wali Cathcart and Margaret Crawford Parson Willins, talk about Kitty Wilson-Evans during a recorded interview for a special video project. The video – “A Tribute to Kitty Wilson-Evans” plays in Historic Brattonsville’s Orientation Room on Sept. 11. Photo by CHM staff. For high resolution images, contact

WHAT: By the Sweat of Our Brows
WHEN: Sat., Sept. 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
WHERE: Historic Brattonsville is located at 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, S.C. 29726


Reserve online tickets at

Online ticket sales available through the end of the day, Fri., Sept. 10. 

Limited tickets available for purchase on site at Historic Brattonsville the day of the event.

Purchase a membership now and reserve your free online tickets to this event. Membership benefits include free general admission to all CHM sites for one year from date of purchase.

Learn more about membership benefits and apply online at

For groups or other information, contact or call 803.981.9182

Admission: Adults (18-59) $8; Seniors (60+) $7; Youth (4-17) $5; Members & Children 3 and younger free.

Good to know:

All visitors are encouraged to check the website  for up-to-date information and varying changes in each site’s operational hours, admission procedures, and programs.

Watch virtual programs featuring the Bratton descendants and their stories. An archive of educational virtual programs that preserve and communicate the cultural and natural history of the Carolina Piedmont is available for ongoing viewing on Culture & Heritage Museums YouTube Channel .

As part of the Museums for All initiative, Historic Brattonsville offers year round access with reduced rates for low-income families; visit for more information.

Award Winning Project:

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission recognizes “By the Sweat of Our Brows” as a project that significantly and dramatically influences in a permanent way the preservation and interpretation of African American history and culture in S.C. The Commission’s Project Award was presented to York County’s Culture and Heritage Museums on behalf of “By the Sweat of Our Brows” at the South Carolina Archives & History Center in Columbia on March 28, 2014. Since 1997, the Brattonsville descendant community comes together at Historic Brattonsville for the annual event.

About Historic Brattonsville:

Historic Brattonsville features historic houses and structures built over the course of three generations of the Bratton family and the enslaved community. The plantation spreads over 800-acres and includes farmed land with heritage breed animals, a Revolutionary War battlefield site, and a nature preserve with miles of walking trails. Seasonal events, reenactments, and living history programs interpret what life was like in the Carolina Piedmont during the 18th and 19th century.

Historic Brattonsville is included in “The Green Book of South Carolina” – a travel guide to significant African American heritage and cultural destinations across the state. Learn more:

About Culture & Heritage Museums of York County, S.C.

Culture & Heritage Museums is a family of museums that includes the Museum of York County and Main Street Children’s Museum in Rock Hill; Historic Brattonsville in McConnells; and the McCelvey Center, which includes the Lowry Family Theater, the Historical Center of York County, and the Southern Revolutionary War Institute, in York. Culture & Heritage Museums is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums; accreditation signifies “excellence and credibility to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies and to the museum-going public.”